Then There Were Two: Beaton Bows Out

Red Dragon Darts

Steve Beaton may be hanging up his tungsten spurs at the Ally Pally at the end of this season but there is still the matter of his ever present record at the UK Open to maintain first.

The Bronzed legend has played in every hosting since its inception in 2003 and will make his 22nd appearance at Butlins in Minehead this coming weekend. 

Although not a regular home of success, the UK Open did provide Steve with one of his four PDC major semi finals back in 2004. His semi final defeat came at the hands of shock winner Roland Scholten after John Part had stunned Taylor in the Quarter finals.

The number of ever-presents at the UK Open has dwindled alarmingly over recent years. A mix between retirement, in the case of The Power, or ranking slumps for the likes of Alex Roy and Wayne Jones mean that there are now only two remaining.

Many of that field from 2003 are still playing, and some at a very high level such as John Henderson and some will play this edition but have missed out in between, Brendan Dolan is perhaps the most notable of these.

Unless Steve decides to go the Riley’s route for another taste of Minehead next year, many former PDC tour card holders have done so, we shall be down to the three time Champion James Wade as the last man standing from that inaugural field.

In addition to winning the title three times Wade is also the only player to play from the first round and win the title. The Machine had been suspended earlier in the year (the event was played in June) and thus only just qualified to play in the  first round. But this seemed to focus James and he produced one of his very best major efforts. His 10-9 win over Mark Webster was a defining moment for both men.

But for one more time, 2024 sees more than one player claim the ever present tag at the FA Cup of Darts. Could The Bronzed Adonis treat the massed fans to a Butlins weekend to remember?

Winners (12 players):

5 Phil Taylor

3 Michael van Gerwen, James Wade

Raymond van Barneveld

1 Roland Scholten, Robert Thornton, Adrian Lewis, Peter Wright, Gary Anderson, Nathan Aspinall, Danny Noppert and Andrew Gilding


Steve Beaton, James Wade

Oldest & Youngest:

Steve Beaton, 59, is the oldest player this year.

Luke Littler, 16, was the youngest player after he qualified to play via a Rileys’ Sports Bar event on his 16th birthday in 2023.


Images: PDC

Grab the current print Issue 584 here  or a 50th Anniversary Darts World bundle 581 here 

The Darts World 50 limited edition dart set is available to order (Here) in your choice of pack


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